If you’re planning on exploring the province of Pangasinan, one destination that you shouldn’t miss is Bolinao. This coastal town isn’t as developed as other cities in the country, but it is home to some of the best tourist spots in Pangasinan, including beaches, waterfalls, and historical sites.
In this article, we will tackle the best Bolinao tourist spots and activities so you can get to know more about this underrated gem.
- 1. Patar Beach
- 2. Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
- 3. Enchanted Cave
- 4. Bolinao Falls
- 5. Bolinao Church (St. James the Great Parish Church)
- 6. Balingasay River
- 7. Santiago Island
- 8. Tara Falls
- 9. Wonderful Cave
- 10. Cindy’s Cave
- 11. Pitch a tent at Camp Puor
- 12. Stay at Old Rock Resort Hotel
- How to get to Bolinao
- Where to stay in Bolinao
- 2 Days in Bolinao Itinerary
- What to read next:
1. Patar Beach
Begin your adventure in Bolinao with a visit to the crown jewel of the town — Patar Beach. It is renowned for its powdery white sand and crystal-clear water.
Patar Beach is a tropical paradise that beckons sunseekers and water enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, take a leisurely swim, or simply relax under the shade of coconut trees, Patar Beach has it all. As the sun begins its descent, the beach transforms into a canvas of vivid hues during sunset, making it an idyllic spot for romantic walks or a tranquil evening by the shore.
You can visit Patar Beach on a day trip or stay in one of the budget-friendly hotels and resorts along the shore.
2. Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
Perched majestically on Punta Piedra Point, the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse stands as both a sentinel of the sea and a testament to the town’s maritime heritage.
This historic lighthouse, constructed during the American colonial era, offers panoramic vistas of the West Philippine Sea. The lighthouse’s iconic red-and-white exterior contrasts beautifully with the azure sky, making it a photographer’s dream. A 140-step spiral staircase leads to the top, where the sweeping views of the coastline and the West Philippine Sea are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to climb up the staircase but you can still appreciate the view from the deck.
Don’t forget to buy souvenirs at the shop before you leave the lighthouse.
3. Enchanted Cave
Another one of the best Bolinao tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss is Enchanted Cave.
Enchanted Cave is a captivating natural wonder – an underground pool with clear, cool waters located inside a cave adorned with impressive rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. The unique combination of natural beauty and tranquil serenity makes this cave a must-visit destination for those seeking adventure and a connection with the earth’s wonders.
Don’t forget your swimsuit and a waterproof camera to capture the magic of this subterranean paradise. Lifevests and snorkels are already provided by the park.
4. Bolinao Falls
The best tourist spots in Bolinao aren’t all beaches – this town also features refreshing waterfalls within lush forests.
Bolinao Falls is a series of three cascading waterfalls, with Bolinao Falls 1 and 2 as the most popular waterfall destinations in the area. These cascading beauties offer a cool respite from the tropical heat, inviting you to take a dip in their crystal-clear pools. Surrounded by verdant foliage and the symphony of nature’s sounds, these waterfalls provide an excellent opportunity for relaxation and communing with nature.
5. Bolinao Church (St. James the Great Parish Church)
Steeped in history and architectural beauty, the Bolinao Church, officially known as the St. James the Great Parish Church, is a significant cultural and religious landmark.
Built during the Spanish colonial period, this centuries-old church showcases a unique blend of Baroque and Neoclassical architectural styles. The church’s intricate facade and serene interior make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and those interested in the rich heritage of Bolinao.
6. Balingasay River
Balingasay River is undeniably one of the best tourist spots in Bolinao. The river is said to be the cleanest one in Ilocos Norte and offers various activities including swimming, kayaking, and river cruising.
Don’t forget to stop by Sungayan Grill and enjoy Pangasinense dishes aboard the floating restaurant. Afterwards, take the 1-hour river cruise and relax while the cruise floats idly down the river, surrounded by mangrove trees and various fauna.
7. Santiago Island
Think you’ve seen it all? Wait until you’ve visited Santiago Island!
Santiago Island is one of the hidden gems in Bolinao. It is home to a giant clam ocean nursery and marine protected areas, making it ideal for aquatic activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. It also has white-sand beaches where you can frolick under the sun.
You can visit Santiago Island on a day trip, but it’s best to spend more than a day to explore its attractions.
8. Tara Falls
Tara Falls is one of the lesser-known attractions in Pangasinan. It is also the most accessible waterfalls in the town, which makes it popular among the locals.
This waterfall is smaller than Bolinao Falls, but it has a wide basin where you can swim, float, and cool off. It is a perfect spot for a refreshing swim and a memorable escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The best time to visit Tara Falls is during the summer months, as the water tends to be murky during the rainy season.
9. Wonderful Cave
One of the lesser-visited tourist spots in Bolinao, the Wonderful Cave is worth seeing especially if you are looking for new places to visit in town.
Wonderful Cave is similar to Enchanted Cave. It features an underground pool inside the cave. The pool is smaller and shallow, making it ideal as swimming ground for kids. This destination is also quieter and less crowded, making it a decent alternative for those who want a more relaxed spot to swim.
10. Cindy’s Cave
Another cave pool in Bolinao is Cindy’s Cave. Cindy’s Cave is small, with shallow to deep water perfect for swimming. There are also stalactites adorning the cave walls, as well as ancient foreign writings.
11. Pitch a tent at Camp Puor
Camp Puor is one of the newest Bolinao tourist spots. Established in 2021, this campsite immediately grew in popularity online due to its IG-worthy structures and corners.
This campsite is ideal for those who love sleeping outdoors and enjoying nature at its pristine conditions. Relax, eat local food and drink fresh coconut, and swim in Balingasay River — one of the cleanest rivers in the region.
12. Stay at Old Rock Resort Hotel
Old Rock Resort Hotel is one of the iconic beach resorts in Bolinao. It has a picturesque swimming pool surrounded by rock patterns, a private beachfront, and other leisure activities such as beach volleyball.
Given its proximity to the best tourist spots in Bolinao, tourists in town often go here for a day trip access. However, it’s worth staying here overnight so you can enjoy the beautiful beach and have easy homebase for exploring Bolinao.
How to get to Bolinao
Bolinao is about 5-6 hours away from Manila.
There are bus with direct routes from Manila to Bolinao located in Pasay and Cubao. Alternatively, you can ride a bus bound to Dagupan City and then transfer to a bus, van, or jeepney en route to Bolinao.
Click here to book a bus from Manila to Bolinao, Pangasinan.
Where to stay in Bolinao
Here are the best recommended resorts in Bolinao:
2 Days in Bolinao Itinerary
Here is a sample 2 days itinerary in Bolinao, Pangasinan. Take note that this is just a rough guide — feel free to follow where you feet takes you!
|Day 1||7AM Breakfast in Bolinao|
8AM – 9:30AM Enchanted Cave, Wonderful Cave, Cindy’s Cave
10:30AM Rock View Beach
11AM Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
2PM Check in at Patar Beach
|Day 2||7AM Breakfast|
8:30AM Bolinao Falls
11AM Check out
11:30AM Lunch at Sungayan Grill (optional: river cruise)
1AM Walk around town proper (Bolinao Church, markets)
2PM ETD back to Manila
As you explore the best Bolinao tourist spots and attractions, you’ll not only create cherished memories but also forge a deeper connection with the beauty and wonder of this enchanting corner of the Philippines. So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to Bolinao, where paradise awaits.
That concludes our guide for the best tourist spots in Bolinao, Pangasinan! Do you have other recommendations? Let us know in the comment section below!
What to read next:
Visiting Pangasinan? Check out these guides:
- Best Pangasinan Tourist Spots and Things to Do
- Best Bolinao Tourist Spots
- Best Beaches in Pangasinan
- Cabongaoan Beach and Tambobong Beach
Looking for accommodations in Pangasinan?
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).